Coley demonstrates great promise for Hawks

BY ERIN ERICKSON | JULY 14, 2014 5:00 AM

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With high expectations for the upcoming 2014-15 Iowa women’s basketball season, the team looks to incoming freshman Chase Coley to step up and make her mark for the Hawkeyes this season.

And Coley is preparing by competing with and against her Hawkeye teammates.

The future Hawkeye shone on July 9, leading Brenden Unkrich’s team to a 93-81 victory. Thus far, Iowa sophomore Ally Disterhoft has led Unkrich’s team, lighting up the court by scoring 30-plus points in all three of her Game Time appearances and averaging 38 points per game.

Coley’s opportunities to score may have been somewhat overshadowed by Disterhoft’s, but her numerous contributions on the defensive side of the ball are a key factor to the team’s success thus far.

Disterhofts’ absence last week led to Coley taking control of the ball and helping to drive her team to a 4-0 record, good enough to clinch the No. 1 seed heading into this week’s playoffs.

And this summer was the first opportunity Hawkeye fans had to catch a glimpse of what to expect from Coley in the upcoming season.

“It’s fun playing against my teammates because I can tell they are making me better,” Coley said. “It’s a different setting than practice, which is why I really enjoy playing against them here.”

Coley’s performance was brilliant, and she scored 25 of her 40 points in the first half.

At times, she seemed impossible to stop. Driving to the basket with steady ball handling and quick agility, she excelled in planting in the post and pulling up seamlessly for jump shots.

Iowa senior Sam Logic challenged Coley the entire night, attempting to stop Chase and end her team’s perfect record.

“I love playing against teammates, getting in her face, getting people shots and getting people to score, putting her in positions to successful,” Logic said.

Coley’s Game Time teammate Moran Lonning added 22 points to Coley’s 40 points.

“Chase definitely stepped it up; we all had to step up,” Lonning said. “I thought we just played good, solid team basketball.”

This season, the Iowa women’s basketball team is determined to earn respect on the national level. Numerous appearances in the NCAA Tournament have given the Hawkeyes the potential to reach the team’s overall goal.

With four seasons ahead of her, Coley demonstrates tremendous promise to become one of Iowa’s top scorers.

With the regular season over, she has set her sights on the postseason.

“The team chemistry is starting to get better, and we are learning our team’s strengths and weaknesses, which is making us better,” she said. “No one is going to beat us.”

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